Surrounded by the life-giving fog of the Pacific Coast, we went in search of gray whales this morning in Magdalena Bay. We navigated like little ducks in a row, all following the lead Zodiac. With the surfacing of a cow/calf pair of gray whales, we stopped and waited. The calm quiet morning was punctuated with the gentle blows of an adult female gray whale and the less exuberant pffft of her calf. This was our last opportunity for viewing the whales up close and they did not disappoint. This curious calf was granted some license by its mother, and cavorted between, around and under our little boats. It was an experience we will not soon forget.
National Geographic Sea Bird
Bahia Almejas, Baja California
As the sun rose, the hills of Isla Santa Margarita lit up to wake us to our first day in Bahia Magdalena. We had lots of firsts today, as we got to meet our panga drivers and head out to explore the area. Today’s focus was Bahia Almejas, the social center of gray whale hangouts at this time of year. And the whales certainly didn’t disappoint. We had lots of encounters with ‘friendly whales’ coming right up to the pangas and allowing us to touch them. As if that wasn’t enough, there was all sorts of activity like whales breaching, spyhopping, and even some mating! Naturally, one of the highlights was getting whale snot blown all over us! We split into two groups for whale watching. The group that wasn’t on the pangas learned how to improve photographic composition using iPhones from Gemina Garland-Lewis, certified photo instructor for the trip. We went out for a couple hours in the morning and afternoon, passing a spit covered in double-crested cormorants and brown pelicans each time. On the way back to National Geographic Sea Bird , we had a treat and saw a lone bald eagle that had clearly been hunting amongst the cormorants. The day wasn’t quite done. After a delicious dinner that included the popular chocolate decadence, Kylee Walterman educated us with a presentation on gray whales. Everyone had the opportunity to touch whale lice if they so wished!